Man, 18, jailed after allegedly firing gun during fight outside St. George elementary school

Purgatory Correctional Facility. Photo: Washington County

ST. GEORGE, Utah, May 25, 2023 (Gephardt Daily) — A St. George teen was arrested Wednesday in connection with a report of gunfire, after school hours, outside Paradise Canyon Elementary School, on Feb. 2 of this year.

Ricardo Arturo Toledo, 18, was arrested on multiple felony charges after a multi-person fight, which police say was gang related.

Toledo was charged on suspicion of:

  • Six counts of aggravated assault, a third-degree felony
  • Assault, a third-degree felony
  • Felony discharge of a firearm, a third-degree felony
  • Possess firearm on school premises, a class A misdemeanor

Police responded to a weapons offence call at about 6:30 p.m. that February evening, and responded to the school, at 1795 W. 1230 North. Officers with the St. George Police Department found no victims or suspects on the scene.

“An officer reviewed video surveillance from the school and observed a group playing basketball at the basketball court,” Toledo’s charging documents say. “Another group is seen entering school property and approaching the group playing basketball. A fight between the two groups takes place, however no one firing a gun could be seen in this video.

“As officers followed up with witnesses they learned a cell phone video had been taken of the fight which shows a male producing a handgun and shooting it in the air during the fight. This case was then forwarded to the gang unit for follow up.”

During the investigation detectives learned the identity of several of the victims, several of whom were juveniles.

“In total seven victims were identified,” the statement says. “During interviews detectives learned the victims were at Paradise Canyon Elementary playing basketball when they were confronted by another group of approximately eight individuals, most of which are juveniles as well. The victims knew the individuals in the suspect group as they have had confrontations with the group in the past.”

The cell phone video captured “a verbal confrontation ensues followed by a physical fight between several members of the victim group and several members of the suspect group,” the affidavit says. “During the fight a male is observed wearing all black with a hood up and a facemask. This male was later identified through the investigation as Ricardo Toledo aka ‘Ricky.’

“As the physical fight continues someone from the crowd calls out to ‘Ricky,'” and someone else can be heard threatening to shoot more people and describing those people using a racially derogatory term.

“At this point in the video part of the crowd starts to back away from the fight and the distinct sound of a handgun being racked with a round is heard. The video then pans back over to Ricardo who can now be seen holding a black handgun.

“Ricardo points the handgun at the group, including all the victims, sweeping the handgun across the crowd,” charging documents say. “Ricardo then points the gun in the air and fires the handgun. The distinct flash from the shot can be seen as well as heard. The group then scatters and the video ends.”

Investigators found a social media account belonging to Toledo, and a selfie posted about a month after the incident in which he was holding a black handgun and a handgun magazine with visible rounds.

Toledo was arrested at the apartment of his mother, who allowed officers to search her son’s bedroom. No evidence was located, the probable cause statement says.

Ricardo Toledo was ordered held without bail at the Purgatory Correctional Facility.


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